View Issue Details

IDProjectCategoryView StatusLast Update
0007645ardourotherpublic2022-02-11 15:32
Reportermrnuke Assigned To 
Status newResolutionopen 
Platformhax86-64OSFedora 28 
Product Version5.12 
Summary0007645: Ardour fonts icons and buttons are too small to be usable on high density screens
DescriptionOn displays with high pixel density the text, buttons, icons and controls of Ardour are too small to be easily readable. Even when the desktop environment is configured correctly, where other applications display controls at the cprrect size, Ardour displays these elements in a size that is too small to be seen. On high enough pixel densities (200+ DPI), the controls become unreadable to a normal human eye.

Learnability: Almost impossible to understand what the knobs do when the user can't see them.
Efficiency: -100dB -- User puts in 100 dB of work to get something done, gets out 0 dB.
Memorability: N/A
Safety: N/A
Satisfaction: The user experience is horrible (-inf dB) when knobs can't be seen.
Steps To ReproduceFor KDE5, open System Settings -> Fonts -> [x] Force fonts DPI: 300
Log out and log back in.
Launch Ardour.
I suspect other DEs have similar knobs if they don't automatically adjust scaling based on EDID.
Additional Information## Expected results

On old-school screens (100-120DPI), I'd expect the buttons and knobs in Ardour to scale up in size.

## Actual results

Ardour controls stay the same size. On a 163 DPI screen, this becomes quite hard to read. On a 330 DPI screen (as shown in screenshots), this is completely unreadable.

## Additional information

The screenshots were taken on a 330DPI screen. An on-screen magnifier (x3) is included for comparison to what a normal font should look like.S
TagsNo tags attached.



2018-07-07 17:47


ardour_magnified_x3.png (147,961 bytes)   
ardour_magnified_x3.png (147,961 bytes)   


2018-07-07 17:48



2018-07-07 17:58

administrator   ~0020347

Did you try to increase:
Ardour Preferences > Appearance > GUI and font-scaling?


2018-07-07 18:13

reporter   ~0020348

Hi x42, I did (eventually) find that setting, and there are two issue with it:

1) It's damn near impossible to read the text and navigate the menus leading to the option (remember, the fonts are unreadable on some screens)
2) It doesn't go far right enough. It becomes readable on my laptop (330 DPI), but still too small for comfort. I still get eye squints and pushing head closer to screen.

My main issue, from a UX perspective, is that the scaling should just work (TM). There's nothing wrong to allowing the user to customize the scaling. That being said, being greeted by an ant colony is poor UX.

I do however revise my "Satisfaction" estimate from -inf dB to -80 dB.


2019-01-09 11:04

reporter   ~0020568

Me having the same problem. I've installed the Debian package of Ardour (5.12) and started Ardour the first time. All dialogues are utterly small on my high-resolution display (280dpi) and the worst thing is, I can't open the preferences dialogue without going through the first initialization and opening a project and all this with an unreadable screen.

Why don't you respect the setting of GDK_DPI_SCALE and GDK_SCALE?


2019-01-09 11:04


ardour-high-res.png (73,046 bytes)   
ardour-high-res.png (73,046 bytes)   


2019-01-09 11:04


ardour-high-res-2.png (682,852 bytes)


2019-05-25 02:27

reporter   ~0020666

I see this as well, on a DELL XPS 13 with Ubuntu 18.04, screen resolution 3840 x 2160. Ardour is unusable. Tried the Ubuntu package first, then the installer downloaded from the web site; no difference. Surprising that even going to 400% screen scaling doesn't seem to affect Ardour at all.


2021-12-21 04:26

administrator   ~0026279

Since Ardour 6, when Ardour is first started (without existing preferences) an initial scaling factor is guessed depending on the screen resolution and the first step in the "new user wizard" allows to configure the scaling factor (which can later be changed in the usual place in the preferences).

This should resolve this issue.

Issue History

Date Modified Username Field Change
2018-07-07 17:47 mrnuke New Issue
2018-07-07 17:47 mrnuke File Added: ardour_magnified_x3.png
2018-07-07 17:48 mrnuke File Added: ardour_magnified_x3_info_screen.png
2018-07-07 17:58 x42 Note Added: 0020347
2018-07-07 18:13 mrnuke Note Added: 0020348
2019-01-09 11:04 jo-so Note Added: 0020568
2019-01-09 11:04 jo-so File Added: ardour-high-res.png
2019-01-09 11:04 jo-so File Added: ardour-high-res-2.png
2019-05-25 02:27 teejaydub Note Added: 0020666
2021-12-21 04:26 x42 Note Added: 0026279